Small business owners typically manage a variety of responsibilities, and it can be extremely difficult to stay on top of all your work obligations. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that time management is a critical skill for entrepreneurs to develop.

This article will cover some of the most powerful ways to use your time more effectively and help your small business reach its goals. Over time, you’ll gradually become acclimated to the challenges associated with owning a small business and grow more effective in every area—from financing to marketing—of entrepreneurship.

Start with the Most Important Tasks

It’s easy for entrepreneurs to feel overwhelmed when they have so much going on. That’s why the first step is identifying your most crucial responsibilities. You should generally work on these things first before moving to peripheral tasks that are less time-sensitive.

On the other hand, small business owners often spend too much time on irrelevant or tedious tasks that distract them from more important goals. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn when you can afford to delegate work to someone else or put it off until you have more free time.

Give Yourself Time to Plan

Rather than taking each workday on its own, entrepreneurs should set aside time just for planning and scheduling their upcoming responsibilities. It’s usually good to spend at least one or two hours per week going over your schedule and making sure you have time to accomplish the most crucial tasks.

Fortunately, time management tools are more accessible before, and you can manage your work priorities from a phone or tablet. Alternatively, a planning notebook helps you record the same information in a physical rather than digital location.

Tune Out Distractions

The modern world is incredibly distracting, and it’s tough to find time in the day to dedicate yourself to work. That said, we’re at our most productive when we’re able to focus entirely on a single task and tune out everything else.

This approach isn’t necessary for routine tasks, but it can be incredibly helpful for high-impact work that demands your full attention. It’s critical to know when you can afford to multitask and when to schedule some time without any distractions.

Delegate Whenever Possible

Entrepreneurs usually want as much control as possible over their business, but every small business owner needs to trust the people around her. It’s impossible to grow a business on your own, and delegation is key for your company’s success (and your own sanity).

You should also consider outsourcing things like accounting, marketing, and payroll, or at least using a dedicated service to help manage these tasks. Entrepreneurs have access to more productivity tools than ever, covering nearly every aspect of small business management.

Learning to prioritize your responsibilities as a small business owner takes time, but each improvement will help you use your time more effectively. These are just a few of the top strategies for increasing productivity as an entrepreneur and leading your business to sustainable growth.

About the Author
Rae Steinbach is a freelance editor for Funding Circle.